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10/28/2020

Ikea builds digital commerce capability with Google Cloud

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Ikea storefront

As customers shift online during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ikea is quickly adapting with serverless technologies.

When the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March, Ikea faced the need to manage a surge in e-commerce, heightened by the requirement to temporarily close numerous stores. In response, the Swedish home furnishings giant decided to quickly transform its technology infrastructure, convert closed stores into fulfillment centers, and enable contactless click & collect services. 

At the same time, Ikea urgently needed to create the capacity to manage large web traffic volumes and online orders. By leveraging Google Cloud, among other key serverless technologies, the retailer was able to globally scale its business to operate in the new, pandemic-driven retail environment.

“We empowered employees with data and digital tools, automating routine tasks, building advanced algorithms to solve complex problems, placing more modern technology in stores and designing additional self-serve tools,” said Barbara Martin Coppola, chief digital officer at Ikea Retail (Ingka Group). “Through cloud technology we trained our data models to assist our co-workers, creating more efficient picking routes, which in turn enriched our customer experience.”

During this time, Ikea has also committed to accelerating its investments toward sustainability. The company plans to invest roughly $700 million USD into companies, solutions and our own operations to enable the transition to a net-zero carbon economy, including digital tools to help enable circularity across its value chain. 

Looking ahead, Ikea is currently working on enhancing the customer experience using recommendations through artificial intelligence (AI), customer service chatbots, and 3D visualization design tools to picture furniture in photo-realistic rooms.